Lentil Koftas

These Indian meatballs, traditionally made with minced lamb are now here on my blog, vegan style as Lentil Koftas. However, much of India is vegetarian so non-meat versions always existed, they just weren’t as famous in the west. My mum also made meat-only koftas so vegan versions are new to my tastebuds!

2 black and white bowls filled with lentil meatballs, yoghurt drizzle, red curry and rice on black table next to gold cutlery

Punjabi koftas normally come in a spicy gravy or curry sauce, but I had leftover dahl from the day before so used this as an accompaniment instead. They also taste great when substituting the curry sauce with some yoghurt, chutney, pickle or a tahini dressing instead.

browned lentil meatballs in white plate with black zigzags on top of red curry and white rice

Try adding to wraps of fresh basmati rice, simply divine.

brown lentil meatball with bite taken out drizzled in plain yoghurt on a bed of red curry and rice

Questions about Lentil koftas

What are koftas? Koftas are basically roughly round balls typically composed of minced meat, normally in India, the Middle East and some areas of the Mediterranean such as Greece.

How to make Koftas. Ingredients for koftas are normally smooth and fine so that everything can bind together and be cooked without breaking apart or crumbling. The vegetarian versions are a little more of a challenge to keep together than the meat versions since they normally have less binders, but they are still possible evidently!

Can koftas be baked? Yes absolutely. The cooking time will vary, roughly around 40 minutes in the oven, turning halfway, should be adequate at 190℃.


Serving size:

Makes around 15 koftas


  • 500g cooked brown lentils
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 sweet potato cooked and mashed
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil to cook


  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor, except oil, and blend until everything is well combined and the mixture is coarse. If the mixture is too wet, add a bit more cornstarch.
  2. Remove mixture and shape into meatballs.
  3. Heat a pan with oil to shallow fry.
  4. When hot, add the meatballs and fry for around 10-15 minutes, flipping over halfway to get all sides golden brown.
  5. Remove from hot pan and serve with rice, chapattis and chutney.

Made this Recipe?

If you had a go at these Lentil Koftas please feel free to give me a shout on Instagram at @food_flaneur– would love to see your pics!

If you like Indian food…

You should definitely give these recipes a try:

Baked Samosas

Tofu Curry

Alternative Coleslaw

5-Ingredient Dahl

Aubergine Curry Tacos

Big Thanks to…

Veg Recipes of Indian for my food inspo. You can find their recipe here:

Recipes sent with Love

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